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  Ask an Acoustician: Subha Maruvada
Subha Maruvada and Micheal L. Dent
    Meet Subha Maruvada
In this issue, “Ask an Acoustician” features Subha Maruvada. Dr. Maruvada is the lead for the Therapeu- tic Ultrasound Program in the Division of Applied Mechanics, which is a part of the Office of Science and Engineering Laboratories of the US Food and Drug
Administration (FDA). Dr. Maruvada is active in both scientific and standards organizations. She serves as working group convener, primary liaison, and technical expert on several working groups within the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee (TC) 87, Ultrasonics, and led the development of an inter- nationalstandardforthefieldspecificationsandmethods of measurements for low-frequency ultrasound physio- therapy devices within the IEC/TC 87. Dr. Maruvada led the completion of an FDA guidance document estab- lishing guidelines to report ultrasound physiotherapy device characterization in support of safety evaluation of medical devices. Until this May, she was the chair of the Biomedical Ultrasound Technical Committee of the
Acoustical Society of America.
A Conversation with Subha Maruvada, in Her Words
Tell us about your work.
I work in the Office of Science and Engineering Laborato- ries, Center for Devices and Radiological Health, FDA, as an ultrasound engineer who primarily does research on developing acoustic metrology (scientific study of mea- surement) for therapeutic medical ultrasound devices. My focus is to develop preclinical testing methods for ultrasound devices that will help in our regulatory review of these devices. Developing standardized testing meth- ods helps both the FDA and manufacturers to efficiently evaluate and ensure device safety and efficacy. For medi- cal ultrasound devices, acoustic output characterization that includes understanding the acoustic field that will
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eventually be transmitted into a patient is critical. I pri- marily develop methods to measure acoustic power and the pressure field and use tissue-mimicking material to further develop test beds that can be used to measure temperature rise due to therapeutic ultrasound.
With a background in electrical and acoustical engi- neering and in acoustics, I have worked in the area of acoustics measurements and modeling for over 20 years. My current areas of research are preclinical character- ization of high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound (HITU) devices, characterization of tissue-mimicking materials for HITU applications, HITU-induced bioeffects, and comparison of acoustics measurements to modeling results. Some of my specific studies are (1) to evaluate and improve existing techniques for characterizing the acoustic fields produced by these devices, including radiation force, piezoelectric hydrophone, thermal, and acousto-optic techniques; (2) to evaluate computational models for mapping the temperature fields associated with high-intensity forced ultrasound (HIFU); and (3) to perform experimental investigations comparing the modeled temperature patterns with lesions produced in tissue mimicking materials and tissue samples. I am active in providing physics and engineering consults to the FDA regulatory staff for HITU, lithotripsy, physio- therapy, and diagnostic ultrasound devices.
Describe your career path.
Growing up, I was convinced I would become a jockey. I loved horses, and all I wanted was to be around them
Volume 16, issue 2 | Summer 2020 • Acoustics Today 73

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